Did You Know: Textiles have played a significant role in India’s legacy through the millennia?
From frequent mentions in the Mahabharat to numerous projections in the ancient murals in the Ajanta caves and citations in Sanskrit literature, Indian textile tradition has evoked in us serious wanderlust. Crafts, such as Benarasi, Chanderi, Maheshwari, Chikankari, Pochampally, Kota, Ikkat, Paithani – distinctive of their place of origin have been objects of earthy aesthetics, and we can’t agree more.
India has been the hotbed of a plethora of unique textiles, each reflecting individual handloom techniques, choice of fabrics and eccentric prints and patterns. And the tradition continues, bringing forth a flourishing million-dollar industry.
Interestingly, we’ve compiled a nifty textile guide on crafts based on Indian cities/states, from where they’ve originated, breathing in the warp and weft of time, charm and creativity.
Kanjeevaram, Tamil Nadu
Touted as one of the most expensive silks made in India, Kanjeevaram silk sarees originate from a quaint temple city of Kancheepuram, near Chennai in Tamil Nadu. The lustrous fabric and intricate zari work are instant crowd-pullers. What’s more, the threads of Kanjeevaram are dipped in pure silver and gold, exuding immaculate craftsmanship. An absolute rarity in today’s India!
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Banarasi, Uttar Pradesh
Glimmering gold threadworks, gossamer fabrics and elaborate resham butis and brocade, as old as time – Banarasi sarees are all things <LOVE>. Especially in the eyes of Indian brides. Originally crafted for the royalty, these sarees are epitome of Indian artistry and weaving heritage of Benaras, Uttar Pradesh. ENCHANTING is the way the colors and designs are blissfully blended with the sublime fabric! Some of the most common variants of Benarasi are as follows: Pure Silk, Brocade, Jaamdani, Organza (kota), Chiffon Organza, Tissue, Tanchoi, Resham Butti, Jangla and a few others.
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Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh
According to Hindu mythology – Chanderi, the handloom pride of Madhya Pradesh was first recognized and introduced by Lord Krishna’s cousin Shishupal. Thanks to the resplendence of the fabric! Inspired by nature, Chanderi sarees feature conventional yet distinctive motifs, such as lotuses, coins, celestial figures, animal figures, peacocks and geometric patterns, all woven with silk, cotton or cotton silk. Also known as ‘woven air’, the fabric of these sarees exudes a sheer, glossy texture high on transparency and light-weight elements, setting it apart from its tailing contemporaries.
When you come across a typical Maharashtrian bride, there are two things you can’t just miss – her chunky pearl nose-ring and the splendid drapes of a regal Paithani saree, a textile trademark of Maharasthra. These sarees are not only flaunted for their epic designs and brocades but for their exquisite gold thread work, which makes them one of the most expensive sarees in the world. The value of Paithanis also depend on the number of handwoven peacock motifs, the greater the number, the higher will be the price. Once adorned by the queens and princesses, Paithani sarees have somehow managed to withstand the age of time and history, without losing an ounce of erstwhile charm, radiance and royalty. For this, take a bow, Paithanis!!
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